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Gayle in MD
06-26-2012, 05:57 AM
Michael Tomasky on Antonin Scalia, the Lawless Supreme Court Justice
by Michael Tomasky Jun 26, 2012 4:45 AM EDT
Supreme Court Justices usually keep quiet about matters that might come before the court—or they recuse themselves. But Antonin Scalia thinks the rules don’t apply to him. Plus, Terry Greene Sterling on how Obama's piling on Arizona, and Robert Shrum on why Romney loses.



It has been widely assumed—including by yours truly—that calling Supreme Court justices “politicians in robes,” as I did just last week counts as an insult. But as of Monday—almost surely before, but without any question as of Monday—Nino Scalia wants precisely to be thought of as a politician in a robe. No other reasonable conclusion can be drawn from his churlish and self-aggrandizing and probably unethical tirade against President Obama’s recently announced immigration policy. And while the court majority’s ruling (from which Scalia of course dissented) represents a pretty solid victory for the Justice Department, the narrow win for the state of Arizona on the controversial “where are your papers” part of the law makes it quite possible that these very issues will come to the court again, after Scalia has taken his political position. Just as Zola famously said “J’Accuse!,” I hope the liberal legal groups are already practicing saying “Recuse!”


The ruling itself wasn’t half bad, for this court; it was one of those cases where Justice Kennedy woke up mostly on the right (that is, left) side of the bed. Justice Kennedy challenged the four key elements of the law: the one mentioned above, which requires that police officers seek to ascertain the status of people stopped under suspicion of commission of other crimes, even misdemeanors, if there’s a “reasonable suspicion” the person may be an alien; one that forbids the “willful” failure to carry documents; one that makes it a misdemeanor for an unauthorized alien to seek work; and one that allows police to arrest a person without a warrant if the officer believes the person has committed a crime that makes him liable to deportation.



The last three were tossed: superseded by federal law, said the majority. The first one, the most controversial, was upheld, but only because the provision isn’t being enforced yet. The majority said that state courts will have to determine how the provision works in practice, and then we can see whether it works or doesn’t. Until then, it doesn’t conflict with federal law, but challenges to this provision can be brought after it goes into effect. They undoubtedly will, and one imagines it will circle back to the court eventually.

<span style='font-size: 14pt'>Scalia wrote the main dissent, which you can read at the above link. Why shouldn’t Arizona enforce whatever immigration laws it wants, he asked, when the federal government won’t enforce federal laws? This would be news to the roughly 1.2 million illegal aliens the Obama administration has deported, but that of course wasn’t the number Scalia had in mind. He meant the group—he said it was up to 1.4 million, using a previously cited number much larger than the administration’s 800,000—that was the target of Obama’s directive from two weeks ago. And so the dissent includes some fairly caustic language about that program.

For Scalia, legal propriety is absurdly quaint. He doesn’t answer to a nation. He answers to a cadre, a vanguard, of which he is a cherished member.

It’s one thing to throw that into a written dissent. It’s another to stand up in public and say it, knowing as he must have how that was going to be taken. As a rule, Supreme Court justices don’t comment much on current events (and if they do, they usually do so elliptically). As a rule, Supreme Court justices never comment on matters that they have reason to think might come before them.

But the rules aren’t for Scalia. He refused to recuse himself back in 2004 in the case involving the secrecy of Dick Cheney’s energy task force. He had, you’ll recall, gone hunting with Cheney (emerging, as far as we know, unscarred). I’m not naive enough to think for a second that Scalia’s personal loyalty to Cheney was purchased with a few rounds of duck ammo. After all, the case was the one in which Cheney asserted that he was in essence beyond the law’s reach, which is fine with Scalia if you’re a conservative, ducks or no ducks. And of course he and Clarence Thomas are somehow allowed to attend highly political gatherings put together by the Koch brothers too, without any consequences. Did they appear between 2008 and 2010, when the court was hearing Citizens United, a time period during which the Kochs had pretty clear interests before the court? We’ll never know. At the time this was in the papers, in early 2011, the Koch organization and the Supreme Court simply refused to answer journalists’ questions, and that was that.</span>


<span style='font-size: 14pt'>And what if, someday, the Obama immigration directive comes before the court? Even conservative blogger Ed Morrissey flagged this as problematic. Some GOP members of Congress have threatened to sue the administration over this directive. If Obama is reelected, they almost surely will, and the case may well get to the Supremes. Imagine, Morrissey wrote, that Ruth Bader Ginsburg inserted support for Obama’s directive into an opinion: “You can bet that conservatives would be screaming for a recusal if/when a challenge to it came before the Supreme Court, and we’d be right to do so.”</span>

Morrissey’s hypothetical, while heuristically instructive, is irrelevant, because Ginsburg would not do such a thing. The Court’s liberals are nicely old-fashioned that way. They believe in the small-r republican virtues (even, at times, when it’s naive to do so). <span style='font-size: 14pt'>But for the conservatives, and for Scalia most of all, legal propriety is absurdly quaint. He doesn’t answer to a nation. He answers to a cadre, a vanguard, of which he is a cherished member, which is about as likely to say no to him as the College of Cardinals is to the Pope, and to which all outside criticism is the chirping of crickets. The crickets will be chirping awfully loudly in the coming days, and I hope at least that this self-satisfied martinet gets an ear-splitting headache.</span>

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/20...?obref=obinsite (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/26/michael-tomasky-on-antonin-scalia-the-lawless-supreme-court-justice.html?obref=obinsite)

Soflasnapper
06-26-2012, 10:12 AM
We've been undergoing a slow motion, several decades' now, takeover of the judiciary, top to bottom, by the Federalist Society and their backers.

It's well advanced by now, and among the reasons this president uniquely among the last dozen has not been allowed to make a dent in the vacancy rate on the bench. In fact, the vacancy rate has soared (I think 40%) from already dire low levels, harming the country and business and the Constitutional requirement for a speedy trial. Running squarely into the dicta that 'justice delayed is often justice denied.' So much that even Chief Justice Roberts (himself a Federalist Society hire) has called for this disaster to be remedied, although not explicitly calling out the creators of this disaster, the GOP.

I used to think of Scalia as principled, just with the wrong principles. That, I could live with.

In more recent times, he's shown himself an unprincipled hack, whatever his intellectual prowess. Situational justice, not based on firm principles, is not justice at all, and Scalia is therefore an anti-Justice of the SCOTUS.

Sev
06-26-2012, 10:33 AM
Ah yes and justices that look to international law for there answers are constitutional principled I suppose.

Gayle in MD
06-26-2012, 02:18 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">We've been undergoing a slow motion, several decades' now, takeover of the judiciary, top to bottom, by the Federalist Society and their backers.

It's well advanced by now, and among the reasons this president uniquely among the last dozen has not been allowed to make a dent in the vacancy rate on the bench. In fact, the vacancy rate has soared (I think 40%) from already dire low levels, harming the country and business and the Constitutional requirement for a speedy trial. Running squarely into the dicta that 'justice delayed is often justice denied.' So much that even Chief Justice Roberts (himself a Federalist Society hire) has called for this disaster to be remedied, although not explicitly calling out the creators of this disaster, the GOP.

I used to think of Scalia as principled, just with the wrong principles. That, I could live with.

In more recent times, he's shown himself an unprincipled hack, whatever his intellectual prowess. Situational justice, not based on firm principles, is not justice at all, and Scalia is therefore an anti-Justice of the SCOTUS. </div></div>

I agree entirely.

This court has thrown the Constitution under the bus!

Scalia is a disgrace, just as Thomas is a disgrace, and Alito, as well, since they have all committed unprecedented disgraceful behavior, unfitting for S.C.Justices, and in some cases, Thomas and Scalia, have committed acts of cronyism which could be a break with Federal Law, which would mean that Roberts, as well, has failed his charge as the Chief Justice, for allowing them to get away without any legal remedy at all for their actions.

No wonder they have the lowest rating of any other Supreme Court in our history, at least, as far as I can tell, after some basic research.

G.

LWW
06-26-2012, 02:43 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">We've been undergoing a slow motion, several decades' now, takeover of the judiciary, top to bottom, by the Federalist Society and their backers.</div></div>

Keep a leftist talking and they wil always reveal their trueideology.

Let's review ht the federalist society is, and why they irritate your collectivist gizzards so much:
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, most frequently called simply the Federalist Society, is an organization of conservatives and libertarians seeking reform of the current American legal system[1] in accordance with a textualist and/or originalist interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. The Federalist Society began at Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, and the University of Chicago Law School in 1982 as a student organization that challenged what its members perceived as the orthodox American liberal ideology found in most law schools. <span style='font-size: 11pt'>The Society asserts that it "is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be."</span></div></div>

This expses a few key points, which you will most assuredly regret:

1 - One cannot be a believer in the US republic and be opposed to the federalist society and it's goals.

2 - Only one who believes that the state exists to exterminate freedom can be bothered by the idea that the state exists to preserve freedom.

3 - One cannot believe in having a nation of laws and not a nation of men could oppose te federalist society.

4 - Only one who believes in rule by oligarchy can be opposed to the idea of a republic that operates by rule of law.

Thank you for your rare moment of openness and honesty.

Soflasnapper
06-27-2012, 10:29 AM
Sure, they talk a good line.

What this means in practice, however, is a different story.

Scalia said he would have upheld Plessy v. Ferguson (the separate but equal decision), and voted against the plaintiffs in Brown v. Kansas Board of Education. Plessy v. Ferguson is widely cited as the high court's worst decision. Scalia said he would have upheld it had he been sitting on that decision.*

They advocate a 19th century (or 18th century) version of jurisprudence which would roll back the 20th century, and even the later 19th century regulatory framework. As such they are the handmaidens of big business, and are supported as such, by the Koch brothers, Richard Melon Scaife, Joseph Coors, and all the usual far right-wing money guys.

One of the key founders was Edwin Meese, part of Reagan's famous 'Troika' of aides, including also James A. Baker, III and Michael Deaver. The other two men, who were conservatives loyal to Reagan, who worked along side Meese and knew him very well, referred to him by the nickname 'The Big Bigot,' and one of his aides as 'The Little Bigot.'

So there you have it, from inside sources. Bigots, and corporatists (fascists). Of astonishing power within the federal judiciary and across the executive branch when a Republican is in power. Over two dozen Federalist Society members or former members thereof were appointed to top DOJ and other positions in the first George W. Bush administration.


* "This is more than an attack on affirmative action being spear-headed by the Federalist Society lawyers," observes Francis A. Boyle, a law professor at the University of Illinois. "They want to go beyond getting rid of affirmative action. They want to go back to Brown vs. Board of Education.

"We have Justice Antonin Scalia (who advised the Federalist Society at its inception and later hired two of its three founders as his law clerks), who two years ago gave a public lecture at Columbia Law School where he stated if Brown vs. Board of Education was to be presented to him today, he would rule against the plaintiff. In other words, this was a threat that if Brown vs. Board of Education was voted on before the Supreme Court, he would overturn it."

Here (http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/hijakjustice.html)

WHEN BROWN VS. BOARD OF EDUCATION WAS BEING ARGUED, a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson suggested that the court should rule against the plaintiffs in the landmark school desegregation case. While making the case for maintaining segregated schools, the clerk sent a memo to his boss saying, "It is about time the Court faced the fact that white people in the South don't like the colored people." That clerk was William Rehnquist, now chief justice of the United States Supreme Court.

LWW
06-27-2012, 12:53 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">That clerk was William Rehnquist, now chief justice of the United States Supreme Court. </div></div>

Your cluelessness seems to know no bounds.

Rehnquist has been dead for over 6 years, was appointed by an uber statist and elected by a demokrook congress.

Next ridiculous point?

Soflasnapper
06-27-2012, 02:36 PM
Yes, and the piece linked (which please see as you plainly didn't look at it) bears a date from 1999. It was a fact at the time it was written.

Other than this mistaken errata notice, did you have any germane dissent from my post?

LWW
06-27-2012, 02:48 PM
Your statement was not in quotes ...

DiabloViejo
06-27-2012, 02:51 PM
LOL! You just got owned Larry! Sofla just administered a reality slap to your mug! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

http://apusa.us/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Slap-Day.jpg

Soflasnapper
06-27-2012, 05:15 PM
True, but it was the opening paragraph in the linked piece.

Right below the date.

LWW
06-28-2012, 03:53 AM
In the desperate tactics of the leftist cabal .... this is as close to a win as y'all get.

Sofla denounces the federalist society.

I point out that opposition to the FS is opposition to both the American republic and the COTUS.

SOFLA, as an uber lame counter, brings up a dead man who was not a member, was nominated by a fascist and ratified by a demokrook congress ... and uses borderline plagiarism whil doing so.

You, in über bot mode, soil yourself claiming victory in what was actually yet another defeat or the cabal's warped view of history.

Tell u the one again about how Ben Franklin was a Marxist.

Qtec
06-28-2012, 04:17 AM
LOL. You got caught and you now spout some ludicrous nonsense.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Only one who believes that <span style='font-size: 20pt'>the state exists to exterminate freedom</span> can be bothered by the idea that the state exists to preserve freedom. </div></div>

Only a nutjob like yourself would believe this.

Its the GOP voters who are voting for less freedom!

Q

LWW
06-28-2012, 04:21 AM
Yes the republicans are, I can see tha.

So are the democrats, but you ... being a hyper partisan tool ... can't see that.

Soflasnapper
06-28-2012, 04:07 PM
I point out that opposition to the FS is opposition to both the American republic and the COTUS.

Nope. It is opposition to a shadowy group of decades' standing that has fully penetrated and now dominates the federal bench.

Their views are antediluvian or at least pre-Civil War, siding with the very corporate power v. the interest of the people that is the hallmark of fascism. The freedom they seek is the freedom of the corporations and the wealthy to do what they want, hang the damage to the people. To be free of ANY regulations, taxes, etc.

brings up a dead man who was not a member, was nominated by a fascist and ratified by a demokrook congress

He was a staunch conservative (to the right of Pat Buchanan, as Haldemann told Nixon), a proponent of states' rights and the 10th amendment, and a disciple of federalism.

He was nominated to be Chief Justice by Ronald Reagan, and confirmed to that position by the Republican Senate. He was to the right of Warren Berger, another conservative, whom he replaced.

His tenure as CJSCOTUS saw the first roll back of legislation founded upon the commerce clause as unConstitutional in over 40 years. His agenda was that of the Federalist Society, even if he was not a member. Wiki's page on him discusses all he did along the FS advocated lines of jurisprudence.

Meese was a member and a leader of the group, whom I also mentioned.